The research is based on technical analysis of 29633 commercial websites in Latvia . All data are taken from open sources.
Why? To understand the current technical state of sites and find out the available growth points to increase competitiveness.
Based on the statistical data of the Latvian domain name registrar NIC at the time of this writing, the total number of registered and active sites in Latvia is 127999. This study involves 29633 sites, which is 23% of total number.
I should highlight that this article covers only about the commercial websites. This research does not include personal sites, blogs and other web resources. A commercial site means that it is somehow associated with a company.
We analyzed the server connection. We studied technologies. We investigated the website loading speed and the structure of HTML pages.
20 major highlights:
- Only a half of the sites are located in Latvia, 40% in the EU, 10% in the USA.
- The most popular hosting in Latvia - Nano
- Only 5% of sites are ready for a DDOS attack
- Only a half of the sites have SSL / HTTPS installed
- More than 30% of sites are loaded in more than 1 second
- 20% don't have robots.txt
- Only 20% of sites have a sitemap
- Web analytics is installed on 60% of sites.
- Every third website in Latvia is built on WordPress
- Only 2/3 of sites are mobile responsive
- A third of sites still have outdated meta keywords
- 1% of sites still have Flash modules
- Only 8% of sites do know about the Theme color tag
- Only a third of sites are adapted to social networks.
- A quarter of sites use structured data Schema org
- In Latvia, only 50% of sites have an H1 title on the home page
- The Mailto link is used only in 35% of cases, and tel - only in 20%
- The main language of the site is Latvian in 66% of cases
- Only 8% of sites have no technical errors
- Competition is relative.
- In which countries are Latvian sites physically located?
- What are the most popular hosting companies in Latvia?
- How many sites in Latvia are protected from DDOS attacks using Cloudflare?
- How many sites in Latvia use a secure HTTPS / SSL certificate?
- How fast do Latvian sites load?
- What size are the main pages of Latvian sites?
- How many Latvian sites have a robots.txt file?
- What servers are Latvian sites installed on?
- What web analytics do Latvian sites use?
- What content management systems are installed on Latvian websites?
- The most popular CMS for Latvian online stores
- What frameworks are used to create Latvian sites
- Popular widgets and other elements
- Technical SEO - SEO site optimization.
titleheaders for Latvian sites
- Brief description of the
- How many sites in Latvia are mobile-friendly?
- Using deprecated
- 336 sites still have Flash modules
- How many sites use
- How many sites are willing to share on social media?
- Only 25% use schema.org structured data
- Main heading H1 - only half the time
- How many images are there on average
- How many internal links on average
- How many CSS / JS files are used on Latvian websites?
- How many lines of code are there in the Latvian website?
- What is the main language in Latvia?
- Most popular technical mistakes
- Which Latvian sites take into account all the recommendations?
In which countries are Latvian sites physically located?
The majority of sites are located in Latvia, namely 48% . Almost 40% of sites are located in Europe. In the USA it is 10%. And the rest 2% worldwide.
The most popular countries hosting Latvian sites are Latvia, Germany and the Netherlands. In total, these countries contain 69% of the total number of sites.
Least Popular Countries: Georgia, Taiwan, Kazakhstan, North Korea, and even Papua New Guinea.
It is important to note that the data was obtained based on checking the geolocation of the IP server on which the site is located. It is necessary to clarify that it is incorrect to consider this data as absolute, because today CDN (Content Delivery Network) services are rapidly gaining popularity, which allow distributing content delivery (site files themselves) over the shortest distance to the user.
More about CDN - on the Cloudflare website
|No.||Country||Number of sites|
What are the most popular hosting companies in Latvia?
Leading hosting companies by the number of sites: Nano, Digitalas Ekonomikas Attistibas Centrs and Institute of Mathematics and Computer Science of University of Latvia. In total, they account for about 25% of all commercial sites.
Unfortunately, information about the hosting provider is not available for every IP, therefore, the category “others” takes more than 40%.
|No.||Hosting Company||The number of sites from the total|
|1||Sia Nano IT||10.73%|
|2||SIA Digitalas Ekonomikas Attistibas Centrs||7.82%|
|3||Institute of Mathematics and Computer Science||7.08%|
|7||LeaseWeb Netherlands B.V.||3.75%|
|8||LATNET SERVISS Ltd.||2.63%|
|9||Leaseweb Deutschland GmbH||2.25%|
|12||mono solutions ApS||1.81%|
|14||Telia Latvija SIA||1.40%|
- Cloudflare hides the real information about the server IP, so in this case it is impossible to determine which hosting provider it belongs to.
How many sites in Latvia are protected from DDOS attacks using Cloudflare?
Cloudflare not only provides a free SSL / HTTPS certificate, makes it easy to manage DNS records, but also protects your site from DDOS attacks and other attacks.
The bottom line is that Cloudflare spoofs the real IP of the server, and also uses special algorithms to prevent malicious attacks.
In Latvia, only 5.19% sites have Cloudflare installed.
Cloudflare starts with a free plan, and installation is straightforward.
How many sites in Latvia use a secure HTTPS / SSL certificate?
At the moment, the number of sites that have a valid SSL certificate installed is 53% . 47% of sites are still running over an HTTP connection.
Opportunity : Today there are free solutions that allow you to install an SSL certificate on a site and use an encrypted connection. For example, the service is (https://cloudflare.com). Although the process of transferring a site requires a certain amount of work, in practice it happens quite smoothly and quickly.
How fast do Latvian sites load?
When a user opens a link on a site, the server begins to prepare the page content (text, titles, descriptions, images, and other elements) in the form of HTML code. Which will then be rendered by the browser (rendering).
Google expects that the site should prepare all content in under 200 milliseconds.
7.18% sites adhere to this standard. The main part of 40% is loaded within up to 500 ms. Loading more than 1 second was detected in 31% of sites.
Also an important parameter for site ranking is TTFB (Time to first byte). Which shows the response speed of the web server.
The recommended server response speed based on Google PageSpeed Insights is up to 200 milliseconds.
9% Latvian sites do respond in less than 200 milliseconds. The main part of 44% is loaded within up to 500 ms. Loading more than 1 second was detected in 27% of sites.
What size are the main pages of Latvian sites?
Based on various sources, the recommended HTML page size is no more than 100KB.
This recommendation is researched by 84% Latvian sites. 1% of sites have page sizes between 200 and 500 KB, which is not much overall.
How many Latvian sites have a robots.txt file?
Robots.txt is a text document residing on your site that tells search engines which pages to include in search and which not. For example, using robots.txt, you can deny access to site pages with personal information of users, internal search results, or to identical pages / mirrors.
However, only 79% of Latvian sites have robots.txt available. The remaining 21% of sites do not have a robots.txt file or are in an incorrect format.
But what about the sitemap?
Sitemap - or sitemap, a structured XML text file that summarizes the list of links on your site.
The important thing is that you can and should also link to your sitemap.xml in your robots.txt files - this is the expected structure, but not required. For example, a sitemap can be uploaded manually via Google Webmaster Tools.
Only 26% of the sites with
robots.txt found a link to the sitemap.
Or in other words, only 20% of sites link to a sitemap.
What servers are Latvian sites installed on?
Permanent Leaders, Apache and Nginx. IIS (Microsoft) is also in the TOP 3.
Apache - 56%, Nginx - 34%, IIS - 4%
What operating systems are used:
|Operating System||The number of sites from the total|
What web analytics do Latvian sites use?
In general, some kind of web analytics is installed on 60% of sites. Of these, the share of Google Analytics is 92%. Share of Yandex Metrica - 3%
|Web Analytics System||The number of sites from the total|
|Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager||48%|
What content management systems are installed on Latvian websites?
The undisputed leader is WordPress with a share of 27% of the total number of sites. The top three are closed by Joomla 5% and WIX 2%
|CMS system||The number of sites from the total|
|CMS Made Simple||0.42%|
You can also find less popular CMS like Google Sites, Sitecore, uCoz, Adobe Experience Manager, AMPcms, PyroCMS, SilverStripe, Hugo and Odoo.
The most popular CMS for Latvian online stores
TOP 3 engines for online stores: WooCommerce, OpenCart, PrestaShop - 7% of the total number of sites are based on these platforms.
Magento despite the global popularity of 6%, in Latvia it is installed only on 0.66% of sites.
What frameworks are used to create Latvian sites
TOP 3 programming languages in which Latvian sites are created: PHP ( 66% ), Python (1%) and Java (0.5%)
TOP backend frameworks:
|Framework||The number of sites from the total|
|Ruby on Rails||0.66%|
|Framework||The number of sites from the total|
Used by Content Delivery Network:
|CDN solution||The number of sites from the total|
Popular widgets and other elements
|Widget name||The number of sites from the total|
|Font Awesome (icons)||18.88%|
Also, despite the fact that Google Plus has already been closed since April 2019, its widgets are still installed on 289 Latvian sites.
Technical SEO - SEO site optimization.
Below are some aspects of technical SEO, with a view to following Google's guidelines, as well as referring to generally accepted web coding practices.
title headers for Latvian sites
Google recommends that your title is no longer than 60 characters. This does not mean that headings should be done in one word. On the contrary, you should squeeze the maximum potential out of these 60 characters.
This recommendation is adhered to by the majority of Latvian sites, namely - 81% The situation can be significantly improved for 12% of sites with page title lengths ranging from 60 to 100 characters. And the 7% require significant fixes because the header can be up to 1000 characters long.
The leader in title length among Latvian sites is 1fotobode, which has 6372 characters.
Brief description of the
meta description page
Google recommends keeping the length of the short description for the
meta description page between 155-160 characters. In practice, this text should briefly and succinctly describe the main point of the page.
Initially, it should be noted that only 47% of Latvian websites have meta descriptions.
Only 5.65% of sites have the maximum potential, namely the text size of 150-160 characters.
However, only 35% sites have a meta description of up to 160 characters. The situation can be significantly improved for 9.8% of sites with text lengths ranging from 160 to 320. And for 1.84% significant fixes are required, because the text length can be up to several thousand characters.
The leader in length of text in meta descriptions among Latvian sites is junkersserviss.lv, which has 36844 characters.
How many sites in Latvia are mobile-friendly?
Back in 2018 Google announced prioritization of sites responsive to mobile devices.
Almost two years later, only 67% of the total sites have a mobile version. And 33% are displayed without adaptation to the user's device.
meta keywords parameter was supposed to place keywords about the page in it. However, for more than 10 years Google ignores this parameter and its content has no effect on issuance.
However, 29% Latvian sites still use this parameter.
It would seem, what's the big deal? However, this is an extra code that simply takes up space on every page of the site and has no practical use. By removing unnecessary code, you can reduce the size of the page and, as a result, it will load faster.
Of those sites that nevertheless use this parameter, for some reason they contain too much text. The recommended text length is no more than 255 characters. And this is followed by the majority of 80% of those who set the
meta keywords tag
The remaining 17% are between 255 and 1000 characters. And 3% of sites have more than 1000 characters.
The largest text in the
meta keywords tag was found on the following sites:
336 sites still have Flash modules
As of today, there are still 336 active sites available in Latvia, which have from 1 to 4 flash banners. Which are already by definition blocked by Google Chrome.
How many sites use
This is a special attribute that allows you to display the color of the site's theme. As an example, open https://mobile.facebook.com/ on your smartphone.
The share of Latvian sites using this attribute is only 8%
How many sites are willing to share on social media?
There is a special markup for social networks called Open Graph. This is a set of parameters that indicate which title will be displayed, the main image, etc.
The main idea is that in this markup, you can specify more catchy images, which may not even be on the site.
And as a result, during the dialogue to share, Facebook will better understand what this content is about and give it the correct snippet (displaying links on Facebook).
Only 32% of Latvian sites have an Open Graph structure and are ready for users to share links in social networks.
This is additional markup for Twitter that also helps you understand what the page is about.
Despite the popularity of Twitter 13.12% in Latvia (https://gs.statcounter.com/social-media-stats/all/latvia) only 0.6% or 140 sites have this markup.
Only 25% use schema.org structured data
Structured data, like Open Graph, allows search engines like Google to better understand the content of a page. This markup also allows snippets to be displayed in Google searches.
In Latvia, the number of sites using the schema.org markup is only 25% .
Good SEO optimization opportunity!
Main heading H1 - only half the time
Like a regular article, a site page must have its own title. Headings have their own hierarchy and are divided into 6 groups:
Based on the analysis of the headings, you can figure out the main point of what this article / page is written about. Thus, initially the heading H1 should go in a larger / bold font and then all the rest. The structure of the headings can also be thought of as paragraphs - sub-paragraphs of a formatted list.
As a result, H1 should be displayed once per page. And all other headings should be redone into H2 or into a deeper structure H2-H3 ...
In Latvia, only 50% of sites have an H1 title on the home page
Quite popular are the cases when H1 is used 2 times on the page (6%) and more than 3 times (11%).
The anti-leaders in terms of the number of H1 headlines should be mentioned:
This is important for the reason that when a search robot receives 159 pieces of main headings, how can one actually determine which of them is the main one and what is this text about?
Hierarchy of headings on Latvian sites
The H2 header also appears 200 times on one page (4 sites), and only exists on 32% of sites.
Summarized table illustrating the situation with headers based on the analysis of commercial 29,633 sites
|Title||There is,%||Average character length||Average number per page|
|H1||50%||98 characters||1.20 pcs|
|H2||56%||93 characters||3.35 pcs|
|H3||45%||87 characters||3.36 pcs|
|H4||25%||95 characters||1.71 pcs|
|H5||12%||124 characters||0.79 pcs|
|H6||5%||141 characters||0.29 pcs|
An interesting point is that, nevertheless, there are 143 sites in which all 6 types of headers are indicated on one main page. But of these, only 82 sites did everything right: one H1 heading and all the rest.
How many images are there on average
Placing images is quite popular - 90% of sites have different types of images on the home page.
Most sites host 1-10 images per page. Second place - from 10 to 30 images.
Also, 14 sites with more than 500 images.
The leading site in terms of the number of images on the main page - danfomasters.lv - 1756 pcs
SEO Image Markup - Important Alt and Title Attributes
Each image can have two attributes -
alt (alternative description) and
title (title / title of the image). In some cases, the absence of the alt attribute can be considered an error. Therefore, it is recommended to fill in both.
Despite the fact that Google can understand what is shown in the picture. Text description plays a role in search engine optimization.
Only 0.7% images have both
title attributes. Images with Alt attribute - 80.9%, images with title attribute - 18.4%
How many internal links on average
Based on the recommendations, the number of links on the page should not exceed 100 pcs.
In the case of Latvian commercial sites, this recommendation is fulfilled in most cases - 78% .
However, 6% of sites have no links at all on their home pages. The logical assumption is that these sites can be one-line / landing pages. However, in this case we are talking about any links, including those leading to a section of the page (
It should be noted that there are also sites with more than 1000 links per page. There were 37 of them calculated.
Active contact links
Especially for mobile devices, there are convenient
tel links. Which, when pressed, immediately perform the target action. For example,
mailto will open the mail program, and
tel will make the call.
mailto:is known and installed only on 35% sites.
tel:is only installed on 20% sites.
How many CSS / JS files are used on Latvian websites?
The number of style files is already much larger and amounts to 12.7 files per site.
Styling elements (rules for their visual display) can technically be specified not only in style files, but also directly in the elements themselves. Called inline-css. It is recommended to do this only in emergency cases, and if possible, transfer all styles to files. This will optimize page loading and display in the browser.
However, 82% of sites contain inline-css. This is of course recommended to be optimized.
How many lines of code are there in the Latvian website?
This distribution is rather arbitrary, because there are no specific requirements for the number of rows.
Nevertheless, it is recommended to minimize the HTML code supplied to the browser - i.e. convert it to one string. Indentation, tabulation and other methods of code formatting serve more for programmers - for a convenient orientation in reading the code.
For the car, in turn, this is not important. And to increase the reading speed, it is recommended to convert the entire page to one line.
In Latvia, only 17% sites have minimized their HTML code
This graph excludes those sites for which the code is optimized (recommended solution)
Most sites have up to 500 lines when. The leader in the number of lines of code - orangeart.lv - has 80980 lines of code.
What is the main language in Latvia?
In my opinion, the most concise solution for a multilingual site is to adapt to the user and show him the language he prefers.
Moreover, it is technically possible.
The fact is that when you visit a site, your browser reports several preferred languages in which you most read text on other sites. Therefore, you can choose the best one and display all the text on it. If the user's preferred language is not available (for example, there is no translation into German), then show the main version of the site. Or the closest in meaning.
During the analysis, the preferred language parameter was not passed. Consequently, each site provided content as it sees fit.
The leading language on Latvian commercial websites is Latvian ( 66% ). In second place is English (17.8%) and then Russian 4.8%
The remaining 11% are distributed to other languages.
Most popular technical mistakes
To analyze the code, the html-validator project from
rexxars was used https://github.com/rexxars/html-validator
The reports are grouped by all sites and are presented in the table below. It should be noted that 8% of the sites were calculated completely without errors.
|Error description||The number of sites from the total||Average number of times an error occurs on the site|
|Invalid attributes. When attributes are set on certain HTML elements that are not used in that element. Why this happens: Technologies change quickly, and many attributes are carried over to style files and no longer need to be specified in the code itself. Reason: old code.||34%||12|
|Lack of Alt attribute for images. Solution: prescribe text / title for each image used||39%||8|
|The element has a sub-element that cannot be there. Reason: wrong code structure||35%||7|
|Same item IDs. Several elements are available for the same identifier.||15%||8|
|Deprecated element attributes that are no longer used: frameborder (iframe), bgcolor (td), align (img, p, div).||25%||4|
|An unclosed element. Those. It is not clear where a certain element ends.||11%||6|
|Using the deprecated
|The image element (img) does not have a source for the file (src)||4%||14|
|The end of the element is specified, but the start is not specified||8%||4|
|The attributes of structured data are incomplete.||4%||9|
|No space between element attributes||8%||4|
|The end of the paragraph is specified, but its beginning is not specified||10%||3|
|Attribute Quoted Error||4%||5|
Which Latvian sites take into account all the recommendations?
Is there life on Mars? A logical question is how many sites in Latvia satisfy all the technical recommendations discussed in this study.
To answer this question, the following criteria were taken:
- Availability of HTTPS version
- Download time up to 200ms
- Loading time of the first bit of content up to 200 ms
- Page size up to 100 KB
- Availability of a robots.txt file
- The size of the title
titlepage up to 60 characters
- The presence and size of a short description
meta descriptionless than 160 characters
- Availability of adaptation to mobile devices
- The presence of the main heading H1 in the singular
- The number of links on the page is less than 100 pieces
- And no HTML code validation errors
The results are sorted by the number of images with the specified Alt and Title attributes.
In almost all cases, regardless of the parameter by which we consider the technical condition, they are followed by no more than half of the total number of sites.
Taking into account the critical criteria, namely:
- Availability of HTTPS (50%)
- Fast loading (30%)
- Readiness for indexing (20%)
- Mobile responsiveness (67%)
- Availability of structured data for ranking in Google snippets (25%)
- Correct titles and description (35-50%)
- No technical errors (8%)
It can be assumed that about 35% of Latvian sites do adhere to all the recommended technical optimization parameters. However, when these parameters were superimposed on each other (taking into account all the criteria together), only 5 sites were found. Which make up approximately 0.02% of the total.
Considering that only about 20% of companies in Latvia have their own website, and the average number of players in a niche for your commercial website is 800 companies, then:
- The average number of sites in this niche: 800 * 0.2 = 160 pcs
- And 1% (rounded 0.02%) sites did everything right, then there are 1.6 of them.
Thus, without taking into account the texts (!), But only by technical (!) Criteria, you can get into the TOP 3 of Google search results quite simply and quickly.